Page 1 of 1

NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 16 Mar 2015 14:10
by ChriZathens
Hello everyone!!!
Found a good deal on ebay for an ASUS P8B WS motherboard (workstation grade M/B), so decided to upgrade my NAS...The Asus specs -the interesting ones - are as follows:
  • CPU: Intel® Socket 1155
  • Chipset: Intel® C206
  • Memory: 4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 1600/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
  • Graphic: Integrated Graphics Processor *2
    VGA output support : DVI port
  • Expansion Slots:2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8, black+blue) *3
    2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, white)
    1 x PCIe x1
    1 x PCI
  • Storage: Intel® C206 chipset :
    2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
    Intel® C206 chipset :
    4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue
    Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
  • LAN: Intel® 82574L, 2 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
  • Form Factor: ATX Form Factor
  • It is aslo worth to mention that it has 2 internal USB ports which help to plug the USB flash drive with your favorite Nas4Free O/S
Since I now have the new specs in my signature, old specs are on my other gallery thread
OK, so lets begin...

CPU
First of all, the Asus Mobo supports a big variety of processors, but I wanted to use Intel Celeron G1620. This CPU, however, is supported provided that you have the latest bios. But the problem was that the nice fella from my neighbor country, Italy, did not remember the bios revision (and by the time I asked he had already dispatched ). He could only tell me that he was using an i3-2100 with it, which unfortunately was not a big help, since this CPU is supported with the oldest possible BIOS (So it was a possibility that the BIOS was never upgraded ). Reading here and there I confirmed that I would need a Sandy Bridge CPU, (supported by the initial BIOS release, to be safe) in order for the Motherboard to boot and be able to upgrade the BIOS.
At that point I was lucky, because at work we are in the process of upgrading the client PCs and I found one retired with a Core i3-2120 CPU, which is supported by the initial BIOS release. A small surgery, then, and I managed to boot and upgrade to the latest BIOS version (v. 2106). BTW the M/B did not have the oldest BIOS, it had 3 versions newer (which still could not support the Celeron G1620).
After the successful BIOS upgrade I went ahead to purchase my CPU. It costed €40.
Image
Click on image for big size

There are 6 reasons for which I selected this CPU:
  1. It's cheap
  2. Supports ECC Ram officially
  3. It's cheap
  4. Is powerful enough for a NAS
  5. It's cheap
  6. It is power efficient

RAM
When I wanted to upgrade my N40L (backup NAS) I had pulled from a DELL poweredge server a 4GB module, in order to test if it was compatible.
It was, so I went ahead and purchased 8GB (2x4GB modules) and used them ever since. I did something similar now. Took one of my N40L modules and tested if the RAM was playing along with ASUS. The system booted succesfully... So I purchased another 4GB module in order to use 8GB totally and decided to leave my backup NAS with only 4GB, since it only has 1.78TB of space to manage.
The Ram modules in question are Kingston KTD-PE313E/4G. There also some Ram modules for Proliant servers with the part number KTH-PL313E/4G.
To my knowledge naming stands for: KTD-PE -->Dell PowerEdge or KTH-PL -->HP ProLiant
I suspect that both modules should be compatible...
Photo of the modules:
Image
Click on image for big size

Now, there is a thread on Freenas forums about the fact that intel changed the documentation and no longer has Sandy/Ivy Bridge core i3 CPUs in the list where ECC is supported. Although it still is not a 100% reliable result, they are using a script to see if their ECC is being used. The script can be found in hardforum. In my case, the G1620 appears as supported. However, since Bios rev 0.704 Asus added an option in the BIOS to enable ECC. In my case, using the latest BIOS I could find no such setting. So I had to use the script in order to see what the result would be. Went ahead, created a bootable usb with Ubuntu 12.04 and gave it a try. I happily discovered that ECC is enabled in both IO and Logic, which is supposed to mean that ECC is supported and being used.
Photo of the ECC outcome:
Image
Click on image for big size

Perhaps in latest BIOS, Asus removed the ECC setting, but when ECC modules are detected, ECC support is automatically enabled (at least I hope so)
So far so good... Just for the heck of it, I plugged the latest N4F version and fired it up...
Image
Click on image for big size
All seem normal. I can continue with my NAS upgrade.

HARDWARE UPGRADE
Saturday, after lunch ( and of course after kids went to sleep... ;) ) I began to get my hands dirty. Before disassembling my old NAS, I had one last thing to check: that my LSI 3081E-R SAS Controller is working without issues. So created a temporar workbench ... in my living room floor and decided to check if everything was recognized as it should
Image
Click on image for big size

I happily discovered that my SAS controller is normally recognized, so went ahead to disassemble my NAS
Below is a picture of my NAS with the old parts (there is no SAS card because it was attached at the ASUS for testing when I took the photo)

Image
Click on image for big size

Notice the gigantic Skythe CPU Cooler... It has two silent 80mm fans and it is dead quiet, but very easy to detach from the socket (it has happened to me a few times... Nothing more frustrating to begin a 5 minute work and end up taking 1+ hour because I accidentally nudged the cooler and got detached :oops: ). Decided to get rid of it, because the Intel heatsink and fan are a really efficient and silent combination.
So I removed the old Mobo and the heatsink. The picture below shows both of them (the MSI is a micro ATX motherboard)
Image
Click on image for big size
Next step was to insert the Asus Mobo. Notice the lowest expansion slot in the picture of my NAS above? This is a fan controller which came with the case. It can control 3 fans but since at a time I had a total of 7 fans inside the NAS, I also had an Aerocool 5,25" fan controller.

Image
Click on image for big size

Those controllers were used to lower all fan speeds at a time when my NAS was on 24/7. I keep the NAS in my bedroom inside a wall cabinet next to my desk, so wanted it at night to be able to become even more quiet than it normally was. Since a few years, though, my NAS is not 24/7 on, so, although I hate noise, it is not critical any more. (After the final installation, though, I discovered that it is still silent :D )
Decided to remove both of them, because the current configuration will only have 4 fans and the motherboard has enough headers to control all of them. Unfortunately, my Fractal Design R2 fans are not PWM fans, but the BIOS has settings for them (silent, normal, turbo). And truth be told, these fans, even in turbo are not audible. Of course credits also go to the case itself which has a rather thick noise insulation (Fractal Design are top notch in this regard)
At this point this was the appearance of the case.
Image
Click on image for big size
Notice that data and power cables are on the front side. I followed that route because this way it was easier to remove a drive. But, almost all of the times, I could not actually work with the case in its normal position and was taking it out of the cabinet. So the front cabling did not offer anything more than bad looks. This is exactly when I decided to disassemble everything and work a bit on my cable management....
After rerouting the cables, but before starting to tie everything with tireups and velcro I decided to fire it up and see if N4F boots normally from the existing usb flash drive. ( In my several years of experience, if you close the case and put it in its place, you have about 75% chance to need to dig inside it again... Murphy sucks..) So plugged it in, fired it up and boom... second pool degraded... S**t... after 15 minutes and finding out which hdd was absent, I discovered that SATA cable No4 on my second SFF-8087 to 4xSATA had died. Luckily I had 2 spare cables for backup and a new one was installed
An hour later, and after a few tire-ups and velcro, this was the back of the case:
Image
Click on image for big size
And this was the front:
Image
Click on image for big size
I am proud....

Before attaching the side panels, one more boot test was in order and after everything confirmed working, the case lied happily in its place...
Image
Click on image for big size
This is the home of my NAS, the wall cabinet inside my bedroom.
The left machine is a Ubuntu server 12.04 LTS which is used as a home seedbox (and many other things). It has a GA-D525TUD motherboard with an Intel Atom D525 on board and 4GB DDR3 Ram.. Above it, you can see my 1000VA UPS which is used for my NAS and my Linux. My windows computer (not in the photo - it is next to my desk) is not connected to the UPS - it is rarely on and not important... :P

Before closing the cabinet door I checked if WOL was working ( which was not - had to enable Wake on Pci-E in BIOS)... I also copied a 5GB iso to see what the speeds are... I was getting 117MB/s from windows to NAS :D
That's it folks....
The upgrade costed:
  • Mobo: €50 + shipping
  • CPU: €40
  • RAM: €46
  • Personal time: Priceless :lol: :lol:
I hope you like my new/upgraded build... Any questions - comments welcome!

EDIT 11 April 2015: Decided to reuse the Asus mobo with a spare Sandy bridge core i3 in order to upgrade my windows PC. So took it of the NAS and now a Supermicro x9scl-f took its place.
All other subsystems remained the same.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog- large pictures)

Posted: 16 Mar 2015 15:33
by noclaf
Can you share your samba settings? I have amazing speed with dd in both reading and writing (more than enough to saturate 2x1Gbit). But I can't get over 50MBps in real real life (w7 clients). :-(

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog- large pictures)

Posted: 16 Mar 2015 16:27
by ChriZathens
Here they are... Using SMB2 - SMB3 is slower for me..
Nothing special really - AFAIR I have only changed the send/receive buffer size
samba.PNG

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 21 Mar 2015 17:12
by armandh
nice work getting the RAM, CPU, and MOBO compatibility issues resolved.
a bit of extra effort to get what you wanted from what you have.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 21 Mar 2015 17:24
by apollo567
As I have the same MSI Mainboard, two questions please with regard to the new configuration:
How about power consumption and Samba speed ?

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 21 Mar 2015 19:11
by ChriZathens
Using SMB2 I get 117MB/s writing to the NAS.
SMB3 was significantly slower, about 65MB/s.
In both cases client was a win7 x64 PC with 8GB Ram and Realtek NIC.
With the MSI mobo and Athlon x2 240 I was getting 95w idle and 65 after disk spindown.
With this combination I get respectively 88 and 53.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog- large pictures)

Posted: 10 Apr 2015 22:06
by daddyfatsax
ChriZathens wrote:Here they are... Using SMB2 - SMB3 is slower for me..
Nothing special really - AFAIR I have only changed the send/receive buffer size
samba.PNG
How did you calculate your send/receive buffer?

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 11 Apr 2015 01:51
by ChriZathens
I did not, actually. ..
Have tried a lot of combinations in the past and this one has worked for me well.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 11 Apr 2015 06:17
by daddyfatsax
I am still playing around with mine. Have not found a good setting yet.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 25 Apr 2015 17:49
by ChriZathens
As i edited at my first post, the Asus motherboard in now inside my windows PC.
Just for the record, the Windows PC specs are:
  • Intel Core i3-2120 CPU
  • 2xCorsair Value 4GB Non-ECC Ram
  • Windows 7 64bit
  • Bootdisk: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD for the O/S
  • Ancient 500GB Seagate SATA HDD for data
Besides the SSD, I already had all the other parts. The SSD was purchased a few days ago to replace an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD which I had until now, which had no issues, but it was small (40GB)

The Nas4Free machine is a bit changed from the first post...
The motherboard (as edited OP already), is now a Supermicro x9scl-f.
I changed the 2x4GB Ram modules to a single 8GB module (KVR1333D3E9S/8G)
The ones I had were working fine with the supermicro motherboard, but took them out in order to test them with a Supermicro x8sil-f which is going to replace my home seedbox's atom motherboard.
I also have a second KVR1333D3E9S/8G. If I am lucky and the 2x4GB modules work in the x8sil-f, the final setup will be:
  • Home seedbox with x8sil-f and 2x4GB KTD-PE313E/4G modules and
  • NAS with x9scl-f with 2xKVR1333D3E9S/8G modules.
But I am still waiting for the CPU for the x8sil-f to arrive (Intel Xeon L3426). And have also ordered an 8GB Industrial SLC Sata-DOM from ebay, in order to use it as a boot device, instead of the Corsair Voyager mini I have right now on the onboard usb.

P.S. Since I had not tested the transfer speeds with Samba and the Supermicro motherboard, I just popped a 23GB movie to check out the speeds.
Speeds are exactly the sames as with before, at 117MB/s (makes some sense, since the Asus motherboard and the Supermicro have the same NICs...)
A screenshot of the transfer below (actual speeds were between 113 and 117MB/s)
Capture.JPG
The only issue I had with both the Asus and the SM motherboards, were that shutting down the machine would cause a reboot the first time. The second time it would shut down normally :roll:
By the time I realized this, while using the Asus board, I did not care much, because I had already made the decision to use the SM board.
But the SM board was doing exactly the same thing. So after some digging I realized that WOL was causing this behavior. I do need WOL, but thanks to IPMI I disabled it and changed my WOL script to actually use ipmitool instead, so no loss there....
When I have time (probably when the SATA Dom arrives...), I will make a clean installation to see if it still happens....

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 25 May 2015 13:18
by ChriZathens
Since a few days my NAS has 16GB of Ram (2xKVR1333D3E9S/8G ).

Also, I recently purchased an Innodisk SLC Satadom 8GB.
When I have some time (probably at the coming weekend), I will discard the USB stick and the Satadom will be used as a boot device.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 27 May 2015 12:46
by armandh
I have been using similar SATA flash [2Gb different brand]
both have been 100% reliable
As is one PATA IDE flash.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 27 May 2015 18:51
by ChriZathens
Well, in the past years I had no issues with the usb stick, but I found this for $10 (lightly used), so figured it was worth the swap.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 05 Jun 2015 11:06
by ChriZathens
Finally found some time and installed the SATADOM ...
LiveCD mounted vi IPMI, clean installation on the SATADOM and restored configuration. Everything fine..
In terms of booting speed, things have not changed dramatically, though...
I expected it to boot a lot faster with the SATADOM - it actually does now, but the difference is not big..

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 11 Jun 2015 14:43
by armandh
here is a boot up test I did with SATA flash
not long at all
not real fast CPU [1.6Ghz]
but DDR3 RAM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcfeRPWCBWM
a good bit of POST B4 the actual boot

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 11 Jun 2015 15:11
by ChriZathens
Well, your test is with an older nas4free version.
latest versions do a lot more stuff while in the boot process
But don't think that in my case it is very slow to boot - it takes about 2 minutes I believe - it is just that I expected it to be faster
I will record the boot process to see how long it takes....

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 28 Jun 2015 20:33
by armandh
possible issue

check to be sure the SATA-2 flash is in a SATA-2 socket

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 30 Jun 2015 15:20
by ChriZathens
Motherboard only has Sata II and Sata III.
The DOM is installed in a specific position next to the onboard DOM power connector

FWIW I counted the time needed for it to boot and it is actually faster than I claimed.
It needs 103 seconds and if we take into consideration that the SAS controller needs about 30 seconds to boot, then it is properly fast after all...

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 22 Jul 2015 19:10
by Southcross
ChriZathens wrote: Perhaps in latest BIOS, Asus removed the ECC setting, but when ECC modules are detected, ECC support is automatically enabled (at least I hope so)
So far so good... Just for the heck of it, I plugged the latest N4F version and fired it up...
Image
Click on image for big size
All seem normal. I can continue with my NAS upgrade.
question, I notice that your CPU core temps show two different numbers... is that common? mine always seems to be 2* C off from each other all the time, at first I was thinking this might mean I need to re-paste my cooler, but now I see your screen shot.

Re: NAS inexpensive upgrade (pics & mini work-photolog)

Posted: 23 Jul 2015 00:32
by noclaf
You have dualcore CPU :)